The Dish on American vs. European Dishwashers

If you’ve been dishwasher shopping recently, then you may have been asked if you were interested in an American or European-style dishwasher. Maybe that question caused some confusion. After all, aren’t all dishwashers pretty much the same? The short answer is no. As appliance experts, we wanted to make you aware of the significant differences between American vs. European dishwashers, so you can choose the best option for your home.


European-built dishwashers are often more expensive than their American counterparts. The reason has to do with Europe’s environmental standards, which requires that European dishwashers use less water and energy than American machines. Therefore, the dishwasher itself needs to pick up the slack. European manufacturers use sturdy, hard-working, and often pricier parts and components to match the level of clean you’d get with a standard American model. However, use of high-quality parts also means your European machine will last longer than an American machine.


If you’re looking at American vs. European dishwashers in terms of energy efficiency, then European models win. On average, a European dishwasher will use 3.5 gallons of water per cycle. A standard American model will use 6 gallons of water per cycle (although some Energy-Star rated models use about 4 gallons).

American dishwashers also have a heated dry cycle. During heated dry, a coil at the bottom of the dishwasher heats up the air inside the dishwasher to dry the dishes. European dishwashers don’t have that option as it’s considered an unnecessary use of electricity. Because European models are so energy-efficient, they’ll help you save on utility bills. If you get a standard American dishwasher, then you can expect higher water and electricity bills.

Noise Level

In Europe, homes tend to be smaller, so loud dishwashers are very intrusive. That’s why European dishwashers are built to be very quiet. The main way that European manufacturers reduce noise levels is by using filters at the bottom of machines to catch food particles, instead of noisy food disposers found at the bottom of American models. However, many of the higher-end American models like KitchenAid are adding the filter system to compete with the quiet ratings of the European models.


The size of American vs. European dishwashers is also quite different. Like most things American, the dishwashers are larger than their European counterparts. European machines are built for Europe’s smaller homes. They are known for their sleek, minimal appearance, which will sit flush in a standard 24” cabinet to for a seamless look. American models were built to have a larger capacity and will protrude about three inches out from a 24” deep cabinet.


Generally speaking, European dishwashers have different types of features than the average American product. For instance, many European machines include a water softener filter, which is useful because hard water, present in many European countries, hinders the effectiveness of soap. Another feature found in European models is what is called “sensor technology,” designed to regulate the cycles of a washer and ensure that all resources are being used efficiently.

Most American models don’t have those specific features, but will have a variety of wash cycles, a heated drying option, and water temperature controls, which are lacking in European models.


American dishwasher brands include the names you’re probably most familiar with, such as Frigidaire, GE, Whirlpool, and Maytag. European Brands include Asko, Bosch, and Avanti.

So when it comes to American vs. European dishwashers, there are a lot of differences to consider. However, keep in mind that American manufacturers have been adopting some of the best features of European machines, like quieter, more efficient operation. Meanwhile, European-style machines have gotten better at deep cleaning.


If you’re interested in a new dishwasher, then come to Reno’s Appliance. We have an extensive inventory high-quality American and European dishwashers. Our knowledgeable and friendly sales team will help you find the perfect machine for your home.

Reno’s Appliance was founded in 1951 as Reno’s Radio & TV. Since then, the shop has grown to become the one-stop home appliance source trusted by thousands. Reno’s sons continue to carry on the tradition set forth by their father and exhibit exceptional customer service. We have every home appliance you will possibly need.